In order to determine if your child is experiencing hearing loss, your audiologist will complete a medical history and a hearing exam. The hearing tests included in the exam vary based on your child’s age. Below is a breakdown of what to expect at your child’s visit.
Newborn Hearing Test
There are two tests used to screen newborns for hearing loss. They may be performed individually or together. If either test returns positive for hearing loss, more testing is needed. Children should be diagnosed before three months of age and treatment can begin at six months.
Evoked Otoacoustic Emissions (EOAE)
This quick and painless test is used to identify the emissions of a normal ear in response to sound, known as otoacoustic response. A small, flexible plug is inserted into the newborn’s ear. Sounds are played through the plug, and a microphone records the emissions.
If there are none, this indicates that the baby may have hearing loss.
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)
Like the OAE exam, this test is quick and painless. It measures the newborn brain’s response to sound.
Electrodes are placed on the newborn’s scalp while they sleep. Headphones are placed over their ears and clicking sounds are played through them.
Hearing Tests for Babies
In addition to EOAE and ABR, babies may also receive the following test:
This screening test involves watching a baby’s response to certain sounds
Toddler Hearing Tests
In addition to the tests mentioned above, toddlers may be given the following hearing tests:
This test requires cooperation from your child, which is why it cannot be used on younger children.
A series of tones are played at a variety of volumes and pitches through a speaker. The audiologist will instruct your toddler to perform an action with a toy each time they hear the tone, such as moving it or touching it.
Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA)
This test involves instructing your toddler to look toward the source of the sound to indicate when they heard a tone. When they deliver a correct response, they are awarded through visual reinforcement.
Hearing Tests for Older Children
The following tests can be performed on children older than three or four.
Pure Tone Audiometry
This test involves placing headphones on your child that play a series of tones at a variety of volumes and pitches. Each time your child hears a tone, they are instructed to raise their hand.
This test is used to determine how well the middle ear is working. The movement of your child’s eardrum is measured in response to air pressure. If you think your child may be exhibiting signs of hearing loss, now is the time to seek help. Contact the experts at ENT of Athens today to get started.